Since the release of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090, it has genuinely taken the gaming world by storm. It has been a while since we have seen such a massive gap in performance between two flagship graphics cards of subsequent generations. Nevertheless, the RTX 4090 is an absolute powerhouse and thus needs a powerful CPU to be truly maximized.
Related: Best CPU For RTX 4080
Here’s a quick look at our selected CPUs for RTX 4090 and a brief comparison of their specs:
Last update on 2023-12-11
Also need a power supply? Check out the Best PSU For RTX 4090.
Best CPU for RTX 4090
Here is a selection of the best CPUs for RTX 4090 that you can buy right now:
- AMD Ryzen 7 7700X
- Intel Core i7-13700K
- AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D
- Intel Core i5-13600K
- Intel Core i9-13900K
- AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D
AMD Ryzen 7 7700X
Best AMD CPU for RTX 4090
Socket: AMD AM5 | Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | L2 Cache: 8MB | Base Clock: 4.5 GHz | Boost Clock: Up to 5.4 GHz | TDP: 105W |Unlocked: Yes
- High single-core performance
- Impressive overclocking headroom
- Solid price-to-performance ratio
- Decent productivity performance
- May limit the RTX 4090 at 1080p
- High temperatures
The AMD Ryzen 7 has always been a popular choice for gamers thanks to the impressive performance and value proposition offered by this tier. The same trend continues in the new Zen 4 series with the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X, which is a high-performance desktop processor aimed squarely at gamers who want to build high-end gaming machines.
AMD has not increased the core count of the Ryzen 7 series this time around, instead going for an improvement in boosting speed and behavior. The Ryzen 7 7700X maintains the same 8-core, 16-thread layout of the previous generations, but this time the processor is capable of hitting a boost frequency of up to 5.4 GHz. In fact, my sample was occasionally even hitting 5.5 GHz on one of the cores, which is a nice little bonus.
This trend can be explained by observing the new boosting behavior of the AMD Ryzen 7000 series processors. Instead of alternating between a fixed base and boost clock, the new Zen 4 processors take advantage of the entire power budget that is available to the CPU. This was evident in my testing, as the CPU tried to hit Tjmax as soon as it was put under a load, completely ignoring the 105W TDP that AMD claims for this particular CPU.
Of course, CPU specs are little more than numbers on a sheet of paper. The suitability of a particular CPU for a GPU as powerful as the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 cannot be determined merely by looking at the specs sheet. What makes the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X the best AMD CPU for RTX 4090 is the fine balance of performance and value that it offers.
It is common knowledge that the RTX 4090 is arguably the fastest gaming GPU on the market right now, but you do not necessarily need an equally premium CPU to take advantage of its capabilities.
Thanks to the supreme single-core performance and low latency of the Ryzen 7 7700X, you can get pretty close to the maximum performance of the RTX 4090 in most modern games at a fraction of the price. Moreover, my testing revealed that the apparent difference between the performance of the Ryzen 7 7700X and a flagship CPU such as the Core i9-13900K is almost negligible at higher resolutions such as 1440p and 4K.
Ultimately, that plays very nicely in favor of the Ryzen 7 7700X. This CPU is not the most expensive offering in AMD’s lineup, but it delivers an exceptional performance with the RTX 4090 without creating potential bottlenecks.
What We Liked
The AMD Ryzen 7 7700X allows the RTX 4090 to achieve a significant portion of its maximum performance in most games without the price tag of a flagship processor.
What We Disliked
Due to the RTX 4090’s ridiculous performance, most games become CPU bound at 1080p or lower quality settings. Moreover, the Ryzen 7000 series processors do run pretty hot by design, therefore mandating the need for a high-quality CPU cooler.
Who Is This For?
The combination of the Ryzen 7 7700X and the RTX 4090 is great for gamers who want to dedicate the majority of their budget towards the GPU, and rightly so. The Ryzen 7 7700X keeps up with the RTX 4090 without being overly expensive.
What Makes It The Best AMD CPU For RTX 4090?
In a word, value! The price-to-performance ratio offered by this combination is almost too good to pass up. If you game at 1440p or 4K, the Ryzen 7 7700X is all you need to allow the RTX 4090 to fully stretch its wings.
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- AMD Ryzen 7 7700X Review
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Intel Core i7-13700K
Best Intel CPU for RTX 4090
Socket: FCLGA1700 | Cores: 16 (8P + 8E) | Threads: 24 | L2 Cache: 24MB | Base Clock: 2.5 GHz | Boost Clock: Up to 5.4 GHz | TDP: 125W | Unlocked: Yes
- Superb gaming performance
- Great for productivity
- Reasonable cost of entry
- DDR4 and DDR5 support
- High power draw
- Runs hot
The Core i7-13700K from Intel’s Raptor Lake lineup is certainly one of the fastest CPUs on the market when it comes to gaming. Thanks to its sky-high 5.4 GHz boost clock and variable turbo boost technology, the 13700K can take advantage of its massive power budget to maximize its single-core performance while gaming.
The i7-13700K is quite an impressive CPU, even when you observe it in a vacuum without the context of the RTX 4090. Intel has offered 16 cores and 24 threads in this CPU, with 8 of those cores being “performance cores”. This new core configuration of P-cores and E-cores has held up quite well in the short time since its release, even though the sample size is quite small.
With the RTX 4090, the Core i7-13700K stands to offer an even better value than the aforementioned Ryzen 7 7700X. In my testing, the 13700K was consistently equal to the Ryzen 7 7700X, if not better in most games at 1440p. Keeping in mind that the Intel SKU costs slightly less than its Ryzen counterpart at the time of writing, it seems like a win-win situation.
However, the Core i7-13700K falls flat in one significant metric; efficiency. During my gaming test runs, the Ryzen 7 7700X consumed significantly less power (~120-140W) than the Intel i7-13700K (~200-220W), making it an undisputed winner when it comes to efficiency. Not to mention, the temperatures of the Intel CPU were teetering at the edge of Tjmax the entire time.
Intel’s 13th Generation desktop CPUs can be described as a sort of hybrid since they support both DDR4 and DDR5 memory generations. However confusing as that may get, this opens up quite a few opportunities for Intel users in terms of value. The overall cost of entry for the Core i7-13700K can be lower than its Ryzen counterpart if you are willing to settle for a last-gen Z690 motherboard and DDR4 memory.
This can, however, limit you slightly from a performance standpoint. Of course, the Core i7-13700K should be optimally paired with a DDR5 memory kit and a Z790 motherboard in order to allow it to flex its muscles.
From a value perspective, the combination of the Core i7-13700K and the RTX 4090 is almost ideal. In most gaming scenarios at 1440p and 4K, my test results did not reveal any significant bottlenecking when compared to the flagship processors from both Intel and AMD. This is good news for gamers who want to build a gaming PC around the RTX 4090 without spending a fortune on the processor.
Unfortunately, the ridiculous power draw and high temperatures of the Core i7-13700K leave a bit to be desired. Therefore, when looking at the big picture, the Core i7-13700K falls slightly short of the Ryzen 7 7700X when both are paired with the RTX 4090.
What We Liked
The gaming performance of the Core i7-13700K is top-notch, and so is the value proposition. You can also pair it with a last-gen Z690 motherboard and DDR4 memory to save a few more bucks!
What We Disliked
The power draw of the 13th Gen Intel processors is quite ridiculous, especially when compared to their Ryzen counterparts. Moreover, you will need a heavy-duty cooler to keep those temperatures down!
Who Is This For?
The combination of the Core i7-13700K and RTX 4090 is ideal for gamers who are looking to maximize their bang-for-the-buck factor when it comes to CPU selection. It is also a great choice if you are already on the Z690 platform.
What Makes It The Best Intel CPU For RTX 4090?
With the ideal mix of single-core performance and value for money, the i7-13700K is definitely one of the foremost options you should consider pairing with the RTX 4090.
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- Best RAM for Intel Core i7-13700K
AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D
Best Overall Gaming CPU for RTX 4090
Socket: AMD AM5 | Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | L2 Cache: 8MB | Base Clock: 4.2 GHz | Boost Clock: Up to 5.0 GHz | TDP: 120W | Unlocked: No
- Fastest gaming processor
- High power efficiency
- 3D V-cache technology
- PCIe 5.0 support
- No multiplier-based overclocking
- Mediocre productivity performance
The AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D can be considered a specialist when it comes to desktop processors. It is focused on one thing and one thing only, and that is to deliver the maximum FPS in your favorite games. The X3D line of processors from AMD has been a resounding success, so it is no surprise that AMD has continued this series with the Zen 4 lineup as well. The AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D might just be the most interesting option of the entire AMD AM5 lineup right now.
It is important to note that gaming performance does not necessarily scale directly with the number of cores and threads that a processor offers. In fact, it is much more reliant on the single-threaded performance of the CPU in question, even in modern 2023 titles. Moreover, the different communicating components inside a modern CPU package introduce a lot of latency, which hurts gaming performance in a significant way.
This is where AMD’s 3D V-Cache technology comes in. By stacking additional layers of cache on top of the CPU die in three dimensions, AMD has been able to pack more L3 cache than would be possible in a two-dimensional configuration. This allows AMD to reduce the latency in the entire chain and improve the single-threaded performance of the CPU, subsequently providing a huge boost to gaming performance.
What does that mean for the end-user? Well, lots of FPS. In fact, my thorough testing revealed that the AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D is the absolute fastest gaming processor on the market at the time of writing in the vast majority of tested titles. It even beats the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D in most gaming scenarios, thanks to its simpler internal core layout.
When you zoom out and analyze the combination of the Ryzen 7 7800X3D and the GeForce RTX 4090, it just makes perfect sense. Not only are you combining the two best-performing components in their respective categories, but the relatively reasonable price point of the Ryzen 7 7800X3D is great from a value perspective as well. There are a handful of other CPUs on the market right now that can keep up with the RTX 4090, but none of the others can do so at this price point.
What We Liked
For one, I absolutely loved the gaming performance that this little chip has on offer, especially for the price. Moreover, the Ryzen 7 7800X3D is quite an efficient processor as well, especially when compared to its Intel counterparts.
What We Disliked
Since the Ryzen 7 7800X3D is a gaming specialist, AMD has hampered the multi-core aspect of this processor a little bit, therefore hurting productivity. I also did not particularly enjoy overclocking this CPU, as most of the manual options are unavailable. The automatic overclocking features of PBO are acceptable, but they just take the fun out of the process.
Who Is This For?
The reasonable price point of the Ryzen 7 7800X3D makes it accessible for most gamers who are looking to build a high-end gaming rig around the RTX 4090 graphics card. If you are specifically looking for the absolute fastest gaming processor, this is the one to get.
What Makes It The Best Overall Gaming CPU For RTX 4090?
AMD’s ingenious 3D V-Cache design allows the Ryzen 7 7800X3D to challenge for the crown of the best overall gaming CPU for RTX 4090, thanks to its supreme single-threaded performance and high efficiency. It challenges CPUs that are almost twice its price and, more often than not, comes away with a victory.
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Intel Core i5-13600K
Best Budget CPU for RTX 4090
Socket: FCLGA1700 | Cores: 14 (6P + 8E) | Threads: 20 | L2 Cache: 20MB | Base Clock: 2.6 GHz | Boost Clock: Up to 5.1 GHz | TDP: 125W | Unlocked: Yes
- Affordable price point
- Relatively low power consumption
- Unlocked for overclocking
- Support for DDR4 and DDR5
- May introduce bottlenecks at 1080p
- Unremarkable productivity performance
One might not think of the value-oriented Core i5-13600K when looking for the best CPU to pair with RTX 4090, but that would be a mistake. Even though the i5-13600K only has 6 “real” cores, they pack a lot of punch, especially when it comes to single-core performance. The i5-13600K is certainly one of the most interesting value propositions in the desktop CPU market right now.
Intel has equipped the Core i5-13600K with 6 P-Cores and 8 E-Cores, with 20 total threads to boot. This configuration might not be the most impressive on paper, but that matters little in the real world. With a boost clock of 5.1 GHz and variable turbo boost technology, this budget processor manages to punch way above its weight when it comes to gaming.
At 1440p in a variety of modern games, the Core i5-13600K consistently managed to match or beat the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X in our testing. This is an incredible result considering the more affordable price point of the Core i5 in this comparison. Moreover, the Core i5-13600K keeps up with the RTX 4090 in most modern gaming titles at 1440p and 4K with little-to-no bottlenecking to be noticed.
What makes the Core i5-13600K special is its value proposition. Being a Core i5 part, this processor is aimed at the budget end of the market, yet it manages to keep pace with the fastest graphics card currently available, the RTX 4090. This combination is exceptional since it allows potential buyers to dedicate the majority of their budget toward the GPU.
Moreover, since this is a Raptor Lake CPU, you can also save even more of your budget by pairing the Core i5-13600K with a Z690 motherboard and DDR4 memory. This combination might hamper its performance a little bit, but it increases the bang-for-the-buck factor even more.
Thanks to the variable turbo boost technology and the architectural improvements brought forth by the Raptor Lake architecture, the Core i5-13600K is also quite an efficient processor. When loaded with a gaming benchmark, it consumed around 160-180W of power during our testing, which is a good result for a 13th Gen Intel processor. However, the Ryzen 7 7700X was more efficient in our testing.
Of course, the Core i5-13600K isn’t perfect either. Since it only has 6 “real” cores, productivity suffers a lot. You will not be buying this CPU for its productivity perks. Moreover, even with its superb single-threaded performance, it might struggle to keep up with the RTX 4090 at 1080p in certain games. Still, the Core i5-13600K is quite a good CPU for 4090 when the entire package is considered.
What We Liked
The Core i5-13600K is an absolute bargain and one of the best budget gaming processors out there. It is also quite efficient and can be paired with a last-gen Z690 motherboard and DDR4 memory.
What We Disliked
Despite its gaming performance being very admirable for the price, it shows signs of struggle when the game is CPU-bound at lower resolutions like 1080p. Also, the productivity performance is nothing to write home about.
Who Is This For?
The Core i5-13600K is perfect for those gamers who want to dedicate a large portion of their budget toward the graphics card.
What Makes It The Best Budget CPU For RTX 4090?
Being a budget-oriented CPU, the i5-13600K manages to keep up with the RTX 4090 in most gaming scenarios without breaking the bank. This earns it the title of the best budget CPU for RTX 4090.
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- Intel Core i5-13600K Review
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- Best Motherboard for Intel Core i5-13600K
- Best RAM for Intel Core i5-13600K
Intel Core i9-13900K
Best High-End CPU for RTX 4090
Socket: FCLGA1700 | Cores: 24 (8P+16E) | Threads: 32 | L2 Cache: 32MB | Base Clock: 2.2 GHz | Boost Clock: Up to 5.8 GHz | TDP: 125W | Unlocked: Yes
- Flagship gaming performance
- Solid productivity performance
- DDR4 and DDR5 support
- Very expensive
- Ridiculous power consumption
- High temperatures
The Intel Core i9-13900K is basically the no-compromise option if you are looking for the best CPU to pair with 4090. It is the flagship offering in Intel’s Raptor Lake lineup, and it does not cut a lot of corners when it comes to features. Of course, the i9-13900K comes with a hefty price tag as well, which is bound to stretch the budget of your build.
Intel has equipped the i9-13900K with 24 total cores, split up into 8 P-Cores and 16 E-Cores. This configuration allows the i9-13900K to master both the single-core and multi-core aspects of productivity while being one of the fastest gaming processors on the market. When paired with the RTX 4090, the Core i9-13900K allows you to get the maximum performance from both of your components.
One of the highlight features of the i9-13900K is its sky-high boost clock of 5.8 GHz, which allows this processor to surpass all others when it comes to single-core performance. Thanks to the variable boost technology and IPC improvements of Raptor Lake, the i9-13900K is often found at the top of gaming performance charts in my testing.
This incredible gaming performance makes it the best CPU to pair with 4090 in a lot of scenarios. Additionally, the productivity aspect of the i9-13900K is nothing to scoff at, either. Thanks to the boatload of cores that Intel has equipped it with, the i9-13900K exchanges blows with the flagship Ryzen 7000 series CPUs in my productivity testing charts.
Of course, no CPU is perfect for every buyer, and the same holds true for the i9-13900K. Not only is this processor wildly expensive, but it is also one of the least efficient CPUs that are available for purchase right now. During the course of my testing, the suggested 125W TDP number was little more than a placeholder since the CPU easily crossed 220W of power draw as soon as a load was placed on it.
The i9-13900K is tuned for performance more so than efficiency, which is why the turbo behavior of this CPU is biased heavily toward high power draw. The CPU makes use of the entire power budget available to it to maximize performance. This also means that the i9-13900K runs very hot, so you will need a premium aftermarket CPU cooler to go along with your purchase.
Nevertheless, the i9-13900K is yet another solid option to consider if you are looking for a good CPU for 4090. You will, however, need to pair it with a high-end Z790 motherboard and premium DDR5 memory in order to take maximum advantage of its performance.
What We Liked
FPS for days! The single-core and multi-core performance of the i9-13900K is among the very best that is available on the market right now. It is also a highly overclockable processor thanks to its high power budget.
What We Disliked
The price tag of the i9-13900K is one of the highest on the market. Moreover, the ridiculous power draw and high temperatures also make it a tough processor to own.
Who Is This For?
For someone who wants to maximize the gaming performance of the RTX 4090, the i9-13900K is one of the best options. This processor is also great for users who want solid productivity performance in addition to gaming.
What Makes It The Best High-End CPU For RTX 4090?
The combination of supreme gaming performance and a versatile feature set makes the i9-13900K a superb high-end pairing for the RTX 4090.
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AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D
Best Value CPU for RTX 4090
Socket: AMD AM4 | Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | L2 Cache: 4MB | Base Clock: 3.4 GHz | Boost Clock: Up to 4.5 GHz | TDP: 105W | Unlocked: No
- High value for money
- Excellent gaming performance
- Affordable platform
- No DDR5 support
- No overclocking support
- Dead-end platform
The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D can be considered a bit of a wildcard recommendation for the RTX 4090. Even though it is a last-gen chip, it is still one of the fastest gaming CPUs on the market. The Ryzen 7 5800X3D was AMD’s first attempt at the 3D V-Cache technology that has been so impressive in the past couple of years, especially in the gaming scene.
By stacking the cache in three dimensions around the central core structure, AMD was able to pack a whopping 96MB of L3 cache on the 5800X3D die. Moreover, you still have the impressive specs of the 5800X3D in addition to the bonus cache. With 8 cores and 16 threads, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D is quite an impressive high-end desktop CPU that can be used for competitive gaming as well as light productivity tasks.
The boost clock of 4.5 GHz is not that high when you compare it with the Ryzen 7000 series or Intel 13th Gen CPUs, but it still helps the 5800X3D deliver admirable single-core performance. However, the additional cache and lower latency of the chip help make it the fastest gaming processor from AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series.
The biggest advantage of the Ryzen 7 5800X3D in the context of the RTX 4090 is its value proposition. Being a last-gen chip (and one that is constantly on discount), it delivers one of the highest FPS-per-dollar numbers that I have calculated in my testing. Even with an IPC disadvantage as compared to current CPUs, the 5800X3D consistently ranks in the top 5 when it comes to gaming performance. Moreover, it has the advantage of a much cheaper platform as well.
The X570 and B550 motherboards are quite affordable nowadays, and that can help you maximize the bang-for-the-buck factor even more. Being an AM4 CPU, you will need DDR4 memory for the 5800X3D, which is more affordable than DDR5 at the time of writing. All these factors combine to make the Ryzen 7 5800X3D an extraordinary value proposition and our pick for the best value CPU for RTX 4090 out there.
Of course, there are some drawbacks of the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, as one would expect. Apart from having no overclocking support whatsoever, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D also does not have any integrated graphics. This is not really a problem if you are looking to pair it with an RTX 4090, but integrated graphics are nice to have from a troubleshooting perspective. Just like the Ryzen 7 7800X3D mentioned earlier, the 5800X3D also does not excel at productivity tasks despite its admirable thread count.
What We Liked
The strongest point of the Ryzen 7 5800X3D is its value proposition. It is a relatively affordable CPU that supports an affordable platform and uses affordable memory while delivering exceptionally strong gaming performance.
What We Disliked
Productivity is not really the strong suit of the 5800X3D, and neither is overclocking. Moreover, the CPU does not come bundled with an included cooler and does not offer integrated graphics either.
Who Is This For?
If you already have an AM4 motherboard and DDR4 memory, then an upgrade to the Ryzen 7 5800X3D will be perfect for you. You can pair this CPU with the RTX 4090 and prepare yourself for an amazing gaming experience without hurting the wallet too much.
What Makes It The Best Value CPU For RTX 4090?
The Ryzen 7 5800X3D was targeted at high-end gamers when it was released, but it has fallen in price quite a bit now. You can also use it on an affordable X570 or B550 motherboard and get away with it. The cost-per-frame analysis makes it the very best value CPU for RTX 4090 right now.
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Gaming Benchmarks of The Best RTX 4090
At Tech4Gamers, we do not merely make hollow claims. Our highly specialized team of hardware experts puts every single product through a gauntlet of tests designed specifically to help us form an objective opinion based on empirical data. For the purposes of this roundup, we put our target CPUs through a barrage of tests in order to gauge the performance of these processors in a variety of gaming scenarios.
Important CPU Key Terms
Here are some key CPU terms you should know when shopping for a CPU in 2023.
- Cores: A CPU core is part of a CPU designed to fetch, decode and execute various functions.
- Threads: A thread is a data string in every computer program. Cores make use of threads to improve multitasking.
- Cache: The cache is a small amount of fast memory stored directly onto the CPU substrate. It is divided into L1, L2, and L3 cache.
- Clock Speed: The clock speed of a processor is the number of data cycles it can complete in a second. It ranges from a minimum (base clock) to a maximum (boost clock) value.
- TDP: The TDP value is an estimated amount of heat the processor puts out.
- IPC: The IPC (Instructions Per Clock) is a measure of the work being done by the CPU in one clock cycle.
- Overclocking: Overclocking is when you allow your processor to run above its stock or pre-configured settings.
How We Picked The Best CPU For RTX 4090
The desktop CPU market can be quite confusing even for experienced PC builders, so it is important to narrow down your selection by prioritizing certain factors. When looking for the best CPU for RTX 4090, we kept the following factors in mind.
The most obvious metric that one should consider when buying a CPU for the RTX 4090 is gaming performance. Since the RTX 4090 is arguably the fastest graphics card on the market right now, you need to pair it with an equally powerful CPU in order to avoid potential bottlenecks. Our team tested the gaming performance of various modern CPUs in different scenarios in order to get an objective idea of their performance.
The desktop PC market is going through a bit of a transition phase. The DDR4 memory standard that was part of mainstream builds for nearly a decade is finally being replaced by the newer DDR5 generation. Considering the feasibility and longevity of the platform is really important when finalizing your selection. You don’t want to be stuck in a dead-end platform with no clear upgrade path.
Value For Money
Of course, we had to look at the value aspect when selecting the best CPUs for the RTX 4090. Even though the GeForce RTX 4090 is an extremely expensive graphics card, that does not mean that you have to spend a fortune on the CPU as well. Every CPU will create a little bit of a bottleneck with the RTX 4090, but it is the FPS-per-dollar figure that really separates a great-value CPU from an average one.
It is also important to consider the value of the entire platform as a whole since the motherboard and memory also go hand in hand with the CPU.
Why You Should Trust Us
At Tech4Gamers, we take immense pride in our ability to provide accurate recommendations based on thorough testing and empirical data. Our team puts every single product through a series of highly specialized tests in order to gain valuable data about its performance, durability, ease of use, feasibility, and value.
For the purposes of finding the best CPU for RTX 4090, we thoroughly analyzed our target CPUs by testing them in a variety of gaming scenarios with varying degrees of CPU utilization. It was of utmost importance for us to find the degree of bottlenecking that a user may experience when pairing a particular CPU with a GPU as powerful as the RTX 4090.
Thanks to our expansive testing data, we have curated a list of the very best CPUs you can pair with the RTX 4090 right now.
The CPU that you should get for the RTX 4090 is dictated by your budget. If you are shopping in the premium tier, the Core i9-13900K and Ryzen 7 7800X3D are great CPUs to pair with RTX 4090.
The minimum CPU that you should get for the RTX 4090 is the Ryzen 7 5800X3D or the Intel Core i5-13600K. These two CPUs offer great gaming performance with the RTX 4090 while being affordable.
Every CPU creates a little bit of bottleneck with the RTX 4090, especially at lower resolutions. However, the AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D and Intel Core i9-13900K create the least amount of bottleneck while gaming.
You can definitely use the RTX 4090 with an i5 processor, namely the Core i5-13600K. It has excellent single-core performance and offers great value for money, which is why we recommend it as the best-budget CPU for RTX 4090.
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Usman Saleem brings 8+ years of comprehensive PC hardware expertise to the table. His journey in the tech world has involved in-depth tech analysis and insightful PC hardware reviews, perfecting over 6+ years of dedicated work. Usman’s commitment to staying authentic and relevant in the field is underscored by many professional certifications, including a recent one in Google IT Support Specialization.
- 8+ years of specialized PC hardware coverage
- 6+ years of in-depth PC hardware analysis and reviews
- Lead PC hardware expert across multiple tech journalism platforms
- Certified in Google IT Support Specialization